Presenting Virtual Classes

Tips for Running Successful Zoom Classes.



  • Group parents in breakout rooms consisting of 4 to 6 parents each.
  • Ask your parents to turn on their cameras.
  • To save time, facilitators may read the activity instructions aloud.
  • Although it is more time consuming, continue to ask parents to read portions of the text aloud. Reading aloud increases parent participation, retention, and learning.
  • The Teacher’s Guide asks facilitators to conduct both small and large group activities. Do not run small group activities in the large group format. Parents learn less in large groups.
  • Debrief activities by charting parent responses, either directly on the PPT slide or
  • Keep it interesting: Show parents how to use the white board, poles, chat room, and reaction symbols/emojis, etc.
  • Establish a “Question Bin.” Ensure parents that their questions will be answered in future Units.
  • Set up ongoing virtual support groups.
  • In other words, even though you are presenting the class online, stick with the process.
    Parent Project classes are based on cooperative learning norms and activity-based instruction. Do not change the delivery platform.

Camera Tips

  • Position your camera at eye level or above.
  • The camera should be close enough to frame at least your head and shoulders.
  • Never position the camera below eye level. No one wants to see up your nose.
  • If you have the facility, standing to present the class also works, but stay on your “mark.” If your camera is stationary, don’t move outside the camera frame.
  • Try to look directly into the camera when you speak.
  • Present from a well-lit room. Ring lights work well.
  • Dress appropriately. You are teaching a class. We know you are on camera, but pajama bottoms or sweatpants do little to help you prepare.


  • We recommend using a microphone with a headset. Logitech makes a good, inexpensive headset. ($24.99 on Amazon.) Headsets make it easier for your parents to hear you and use noise-canceling technology to help eliminate background noise.


  • Don’t be afraid to share a little about yourself. Be personable!
  • The more your class laughs, the better. Smile!
  • Don’t read anything from the book without personal comment. “You will love this!” “How true that is.” “The first time I heard this, I laughed.” “I can’t stress that enough.”
  • Be animated. Use voice inflection to help maintain class attention. In short, we have all had to endure boring presenters. Don’t be one.

The Software and the Process

  • Practice, practice, practice, using the software, hardware, and presenting the class.
  • Download the PPT’s to your computer. Do not play the PPT’s from the portal.
  • Direct wire your computer to your router. Do not rely on a WiFi signal.
  • After starting movies, move your cursor off the slide. Don’t touch the mouse or trackpad until the movie ends. Clicking or moving the mouse may pause the video.
  • Always do a Zoom orientation for parents.
  • For your first class, ask your parents to sign in early.
  • From time to time, you will experience technical difficulties. Expect it. Facilitators who have no idea how to fix it or where to start, usually panic.
  • Two facilitators are always best. If you are teaching alone, that’s okay. But having a techy there to get your parents into the meeting and solving technical issues for you is a great idea.
  • If you must go it alone, practice, practice, practice.
  • We recommend presenting just one unit per week, over two nights, one hour per night. For most, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings are best.
  • Giving parents homework like reading the unit beforehand or “watch this first” is a challenge.
  • Do not depend on your parents completing the task.
  • Recording your sessions is a great idea. Parents who miss a class can always watch the meeting to catch up.